The Harvard men’s tennis team entered this weekend riding the momentum of a 5-game win streak. The squad took on South Florida at the Murr Center on Sunday in what turned out to be a highly competitive matchup. After the Crimson went down early, losing the doubles point for the first time this season, it all came down to a three-set match between co-captain Kenny Tao and South Florida junior Grayson Goldin.
After Goldin came back in the second set to even the playing field, Tao managed to edge his opponent out and claim the third set for a final score of 705, 6-7 (7), 6-2. Tao’s win secured the Crimson’s 4-3 victory and moves Harvard to a 6-0 record, its best start to a season since 2005.
The Crimson suffered an early doubles setback, an unusual occurrence for the team. USF defeated Harvard co-captain Jean Thirouin and junior Andy Zhou at third doubles, before Tao and sophomore Logan Weber dropped their match 3-6 at first doubles. Junior Christopher Morrow and senior Grant Solomon’s win at second doubles was not enough to give the Crimson the advantage.
Solomon remains undefeated in doubles this season, moving to 3-0.
Harvard came back on the singles side with an early win from rookie Constantin Zoske, defeating his Bulls’ opponent in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1. Zhou then gave the Crimson the lead with a victory over USF senior Peter Bertran, 6-3, 7-5.
Rookie Robert Wrzesinski also earned a crucial victory for Harvard at fourth singles. The Vilnius, Lithuania native fell 4-6 in the first set, but came back to take the next two sets 6-3,6- 0. With losses from Thirouin and Solomon at second and fifth singles, respectively, the Crimson was tied 3-3 with the Bulls, and it came down to the faceoff between Tao and Goldin.
The Crimson’s win ties the all-time series with USF 2-2. The team will hit the road next week to take on Michigan and Michigan State.
—Staff writer Jamie Chen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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